Does Truffle Oil Go Bad? (Storage & Shelf Life)

Truffle oil is a culinary delicacy used to impart the notorious aroma and earthy, mushroom-like flavor into certain dishes like pasta and salad dressing.

Unfortunately, this decadent flavor enhancement doesn’t have an indefinite shelf life, and using fresh truffle oil is a must.

Unopened truffle oil can last 6 months to a year if stored in a cool, dry climate, such as in the back of the pantry or refrigerator. Once opened, truffle oil has a shelf life of 4 to 6 months in the pantry and 6 to 8 months in the fridge, on average. 

Storage LocationStore-bought (Unopened)Store-bought (Opened)Homemade (Depending on method)
Kitchen Cabinet6-12 months4-6 monthsUp to 6 months
Refrigerator8-12 months6-8 months1-6 months
FreezerNot recommendedNot recommendedNot recommended

Proper storage of truffle oil is essential to preserve the aroma and flavor. (Not to mention, you won’t want to buy this pricey oil sooner than you have to). 

Keep reading to find out how long truffle oil lasts, how to store it properly, and how to tell when it’s expired.

How Do You Know If Truffle Oil Has Gone Bad?

It is imperative to know the signs of expired truffle oil. That’s because every situation is different.

Truffle oil

While the “average” shelf life may be between 6 and 12 months (unopened) and 4 to 8 months (opened), the longevity can be altered due to many things such as storage and use.

Here are the 4 best ways to know if your truffle oil has gone bad:

Change in Smell

While it’s true that the aroma will be less potent the more you use it, an off scent is something to be concerned about.

If the aroma has changed – and isn’t just “faint” – reconsider using it in your cuisine.

Change in Taste

Truffle oil has a very distinct flavor. To make sure it hasn’t expired, dab a bit of the oil on your finger and give it a taste.

If it tastes like anything but the bold and earthy flavor you once loved, it’s best to toss it and start fresh.

Cloudy Appearance

Another indicator that your truffle oil has expired is appearance. Most truffle oils begin as a clear liquid that isn’t highly visible.

If your truffle oil suddenly has a cloudy appearance, it’s definitely past its time.

Note: Some truffle oils begin with a cloudy appearance, in which case, this method for determining expiration is rendered useless.

Odd Consistency

Room temperature truffle oil should be smooth, silky, and readily poured. That said, any signs of clumpiness or gooeyness indicate that the truffle oil has gone bad.

Keep in mind that those are the guidelines for room temperature truffle oils. If you store your truffle oil in the fridge, it will end up with clumps.

However, the clumps should dissipate as the truffle oil comes to room temp.

With that in mind, don’t judge your truffle oil right out of the fridge. Let it come to room temperature and re-check for clumps or gooeyness.

Can Expired Truffle Oil Make You Sick?

Typically, a healthy individual consuming expired truffle oil will not get sick. However, the truffle oil will have an undesirable taste and scent, making it displeasing to consume in the first place.

The real issue is Botulism, which, although rare, is potentially fatal. Botulism is caused by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria that produce deadly toxins. It is caused by improper storage of certain ingredients, including truffle oil.

That is why it’s imperative to check your truffle oil for any signs of spoilage.

How Long Does Truffle Oil Last?

By now, you know that truffle oil expires. But how long does it actually last before it reaches that point?

Whether you’re using white or black truffle oil, the shelf life remains the same – unopened 6 to 12 months and opened 4 to 8 months. 

How Long Does Unopened Truffle Oil Last?

Truffle oil that has not yet been opened will typically last up to 12 months in the kitchen cabinet or fridge.

It is essential to keep it away from heat and humidity. So, if you live in a humid climate, consider sticking it in the back of the fridge.

How Long Does Opened Truffle Oil Last?

With proper storage, an opened bottle of truffle oil will typically last between 4 and 8 months. It depends on the kind of storage option you choose.

Truffle oil in a bowl

How Long Does Truffle Oil Last After Expiration Date?

It’s not uncommon for bottles of truffle oil to have a “best by,” “use by,” or “best if used by,” date rather than a definite expiration date.

With proper storage, truffle oil can exceed the date listed on the bottle by a few months (typically 4-6 months). Again, it all comes down to how the truffle oil is stored and used.

How Long Does Homemade Truffle Oil Last?

Homemade truffle oil has a much shorter shelf life compared to store-bought options. Depending on which method you use to DIY truffle oil, it can last anywhere from 1 to 6 months.

Storage LocationHover MethodHot SteepCold Steep
Kitchen Cabinet6 monthsNot recommendedNot recommended
Refrigerator6 months3 months1 month
FreezerNot recommendedNot recommendedNot recommended

How to Store Truffle Oil

Truffle oil is an expensive commodity. The last thing you want to do is improperly store it, leading to rancid truffle oil rapidly. 

To prolong the shelf life of your truffle oil, make sure you’re storing it the right way.

Here’s how.

Don’t Open It Until You Need It

The number one storage tip is not to open it until you’re ready to use it. The “clock starts ticking” the moment you break the seal.

So, although you might want to get a whiff of that glorious truffle oil, it’s best to save it until you apply it to your dish.

Once Opened, Keep it Sealed Tightly

Storing your truffle oil with a lid half off will not extend the shelf life. In fact, it’s going to have the opposite effect.

Truffle oil is susceptible and will begin to oxidate in the presence of air. So, if the lid is even slightly loose, the truffle oil will start to deteriorate.

If the cover is broken or you’re unsure if you’re getting a tight seal, you can also move the truffle oil to another container. Ensure the container is airtight.

Store it in the Pantry

As long as you don’t live in an excessively hot and humid climate; you can safely store your truffle oil – unopened and opened – in the pantry.

Place it in the back, where it’s cold and dry. Remember – heat and light will shorten the shelf life of truffle oil.

Store it in the Fridge

Although you can store truffle oil in the pantry, the fridge is the best choice. This is true for opened and unopened bottles of truffle oil.

Storing truffle oil in the refrigerator will prolong its shelf life by several months. It also reduces the chance of bacteria forming or chemical changes, leaving you with fresh, safe, and tasty truffle oil.

Avoid the Freezer 

The freezer is frequently the go-to for longer shelf lives. However, the same isn’t valid for truffle oil. While there is no rule saying you can’t store truffle oil in the freezer, it’s 100% not recommended.

The problem with the freezer is that it will alter the truffle oil too much, even after it’s thawed.

This can result in truffle oil that lacks the notorious and distinctive flavor, ultimately ruining your dinner.

Besides, the shelf life isn’t prolonged much more in the freezer compared to the fridge.

Save yourself the hassle and stick to the cool, dark area of your pantry or the refrigerator instead.

What is the Best Way to Use Truffle Oil?

Do you want to use up your truffle oil before it goes bad? Here are a few of the best ways to use truffle oil in your cuisine.

  • Over popcorn – People have become more whimsical about their popcorn toppings recently, but they’ve unlikely tried a drizzle of truffle oil on top. If you want to take your popcorn to the Red Carpet, give it a pop of truffle oil.
  • Over fries – Truffle fries are considered one of the most high-end and popular appetizers, including this specialty flavor. Give them a try!
  • Over eggs – Eggs are highly versatile, and if you’re looking for an elegant way to start your morning, truffle oil eggs are the perfect pick.
  • Over fish – Sophisticated date nights call for a glamorous dish such as this.
  • Over macaroni – Need a side dish for your fancy night in? Consider drizzling truffle oil over your favorite mac n cheese recipe.

Final Words

Well, truffle fanatics, there you have it. Unopened truffle oil easily lasts up to 12 months, while opened ones last up to 8 with proper storage.

Always double-check the scent, taste, and appearance before using your truffle oil to be on the safe side. Other than that, enjoy this delicacy!

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